Choose a country to see content specific to your location

A picture of a Papyrus

Papyrus

Cyperus papyrus

Also known as

The Bulrush of The Bible, Nile Grass, Paper Reed, Papirus, Papierriet (Afr.)

Full Sun
Easy care
Frequent watering
Tender

8a-11b

USDA zone

-12°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

3m

Max

5m

2m

Min

2m

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

A photo of Papyrus
A photo of Papyrus
A photo of Papyrus
A photo of Papyrus
A photo of Papyrus

Overview

A wetland clump-forming plant with tall bare stems and a mop-like crown or head of thread-like leaves or spikelets. It can grow up to 5m tall and heavy heads bed downwards under their own weight. They occur naturally in swamps and wetlands throughout Africa and some Mediterranean countries. It is used as building material and the rhizomes can be eaten raw or cooked. A wetland plant for gardens, adding height to the landscape. This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.

Common problems

Problem free

    Companion plants

    Water with other wetland plants like arum lilies.

    A photo of Arum Lilies

    Arum Lilies

    Zantedeschia spp.

    Harvesting

    The roots are harvested for consumption by humans. Divisions and new shoots can be removed in spring time for propagation purposes.

    Propagation

    Division

    Divide the rhizomes and replant.

    Rhizomes

    Divide the thick rhizomes with stems cut back and replant in wet soil.

    Seed

    Sow seed in Spring.

    Special Features

    Attracts birds

    Birds use the tuffs as material for nest building.

    Pot plant

    Planting it in a pot in a pond will help to contain it to one area.

    Wet sites

    Well suited to grow in wetlands.

    Attractive leaves

    The leaves make interesting soft balls at the end of long stems.

    Uses

    Ornamental

    Makes a good feature plant near water.

    Raw material

    In Ancient Egypt, papyrus was used for various of purposes such as baskets, sandals, blankets, medicine, incense, and boats. The woody root was used to make bowls and utensils, and was burned for fuel.

    Edible

    The roots are edible raw or cooked.

    Environmental value

    It has environmental value. With the quantities it grows in and having its roots in the water, it plays an important role in the cleaning of the environment and regulation of the ecosystem.

    Other uses